While we are disappointed with our state leadership in Olympia for failing to find a solution to this problem we will not let today's announcement detract from the real progress that has been made.
Mr. Bennett and the Professional Basketball Club have had a very short time to overcome substantial adversity. During this period they have established an impressive coalition of community and business leaders. They assembled a first class design and development team and put together a very viable funding package which came closer to passing than most people probably realize. Additionally the city of Renton has proven to be a remarkable advocate for the Sonics and Storm in this region. It is our sincere hope that all of these parties will continue to move forward until the King County Events Center becomes a reality.
At this point we as a community need to be proactive if we want to retain our NBA and WNBA franchises. In his most recent statement Mr. Bennett makes it clear that this important part of our cultural heritage is at risk because of the faillure local legislature to provide even minimal attention to this issue. Their refusal to consider the tremendous value of the teams and the new facility to King County and Renton is extremely troubling. Fans of the teams should be embarassed by the manner in which our legislature represented the state. While a few notable exceptions such as Margarita Prentice and Eric Petigrew, took steps to engage team ownership the vast majority of our governing body displayed contempt for the issue, and a lack of profesional courtesy to the teams owners through their inaction. At some point it is the obligation of own community leaders, not Clayton Bennett, to ensure that this region retains all of the diverse assets which make it such a wonderful place to live and work. We hope that moving forward they will recognize that the Sonics and Storm have great value to the community and find a way to ensure their long term stability.
Save Our Sonics and Storm will continue to work with our members and partners over the coming months. At this time we encourage people to voice their displeasure to legislature and appeal to the Professional Basketball Club for both patience and determination. Messages can be sent via our interactive web-mailer at http://www.sonicscentral.com/mailer/ or via our websites, www.saveoursonics.org or www.saveourstorm.org.
Brian Robinson & Steven Pyaett
Save Our Sonics and Storm
Statement by Clay Bennett on Lack of Action on Legislation
Authorizing King County to Develop a Multipurpose Events Center
This a staggering and quite likely a debilitating blow to our efforts to develop a world-class arena facility. Clearly at this time the Sonics and Storm have little hope of remaining in the Puget Sound region.
We believe we have gone to extraordinary lengths with significant time and resources to craft a proposal for a global caliber multi-purpose event facility that would be a valuable public asset for the region for years to come and have minimal impact on taxpayers. By its inaction the Legislature has delivered the message that they are indifferent to the notion of the Sonics and the Storm leaving the market.
We remain willing and available to work with the Governor and the Legislature to explore every conceivable funding option for the building. We are also receptive to analyzing any private financing mechanisms that are brought to our attention. But at this time we have no other concepts on the table.
We want to recognize Senator Margarita Prentice and Representative Eric Pettigrew for their courageous leadership in the Legislature. We also want to thank the good people of Renton who have enthusiastically supported these efforts. In addition we wish to thank the many supporters and advocates who have worked hard on our behalf.
As owners we remain absolutely committed to restoring the Sonics to a championship caliber team Â¬â€“ on this subject we will not waver. Further we are committed to delivering the very best fan experience and sponsor value that we can. We thank our fans, season ticket holders and sponsors from the bottom of our heart. We also thank our professional staff, our players and coaching staff, all of our friends who work at Key Arena and everyone who has believed in us.